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Overlooking the basin of the River Barrow and with fine views of the plain that stretches to Dublin are the vestiges of a monastery founded in the 5th century by St Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, credited with bringing Christianity to the Island. Like...

The most complete example of early Christian architecture to be found anywhere in Ireland is Gallarus Oratory, on a signposted site a mile inland from Smerwick Harbour. It has been dated to between 800 and 1200 and is a remarkable stone structure, shaped like an...

On this Island in Lough Ree, six churches make up the extensive remains of a monastery founded in the early 6th century by St Diarmuid. These include the Belfry Church, set on the highest point on the Island, an unusual Romanesque church with a square...

In the middle of Lough Derg is a solitary, uninhabited, 49 acre island whose atmosphere takes visitors back to the golden age of Irish Christianity. St Caimin founded a monastery here in the 7h century. It grew to be a large establishment, he well-preserved remains...

The stubby, crenelated tower of the 13th century St Lazerian Protestant Cathedral stands at Old Leighlin. And nearby is the site of a 7th century monastery and Lazerian’s Well – a place of pilgrimage that after 13 centuries still attracts offerings of medals, crucifixes and...

The impressive fortifications that crown Dunree Head are a reminder of the strategic importance of Lough Swilly. In 1800, when Ireland was faced with the Napoleonic threat, heavy guns where mounted on the bluff of rock that commands the entrance to the lough. Martello towers...

This was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Dal Riada, and is thought to have been one of the three great ‘duns’, or royal forts, visited by St Patrick in the 5th century. It lay at the end of an ancient route from Dundalk...

Westport was laid out as an adjunct to the Marquess of Sligo’s Westport House in the late 18th century, and its legacy of town planning can be seen in the comfortably spacious streets. The town focuses on the canalised River Carrowbeg, which tumbles gently over...

The dark, biscuit-coloured tower of Jerpoint Abbey, with its battlements, rears above a bend on the road South from Thomastown. The Abbey is one of the most awesome religious remains in Ireland, yet, because many of its domestic arrangements are still recognisable, it also gives...

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